Christmas Gift Exchange
December 17, 2014
Christmas is almost here, and like everyone else, we are getting ready.
Last Saturday we had the potluck lunch at the Guild in MIllarville, and our Christmas Gift Exchange. This year we had to make a fabric bag and I had a lot of fun with it.
To make it a bit different, I quilted the fabric first, trimmed the square to 12", closely zig-zagged the edges and then continued with the pattern as instructed. Afterwards, I decided to embellish the flaps. A few days before I started working on the fabric box, I watched the DMTV video by Laura Kemshall about the embellished Motto little pillows, and I loved the idea, so I decided to adapt the idea to the box.
Below are some photos of the result:
I used different elements for the four sides, but used circular elements in each to keep it balanced, plus the same bead as filler. The edges were done using a blanket stitch with a larger bead.
Look at the table with a grouping of all the lovely boxes the ladies made! Aren't they beautiful? I wanted them all.
They were all filled with sewing supplies. If you are wondering what was in the one I made: 6 fat quarters of fabric: 3 batiks in reds, oranges and yellows plus 3 solids to match, 3 spools of thread, one skein of hand-dyed thread, samples of different battings, and a pattern for a zipped pouch.
We had a fun time with the boxes moving around the table Left or Right at the rhythm of a poem read by Jen. Karen was the happy recipient of the box I made. Enjoy!
I am now in the midst of quilting a new quilt. Would like to finish it before the end of January so I can take it with me when I travel to Fort Smith for a few days of teaching classes, but I keep changing my mind on what I'd like to do so it is going to take a little longer than anticipated. Oh, well, no sense in trying to fight creativity! :-)
I have a major project for the holidays: I am looking at updating and moving my blog. I will keep you posted on how that is going as I have a lot to learn to make it happen.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is keeping happy and productive. Keep quilting!
Oh my ... time flies ...
December 05, 2014
Yes, once again I get to apologize from being absent from my blog and website. Life seems to get in the way.
As an excuse, I was busy teaching and learning these last few months. Being a student once again was a great experience; once I had not been a part of in about 7 years or so! what a change!! ;) Positive always, but your brain needs to make an adjustment, for sure; especially for the course I took.
Lisa and I drove from London, Ontario down to Reynoldsburg, Ohio to attend a 5-day workshop at Nancy Crow's Barn. Before we drove, we spent a few days visiting St. Mary's were Lisa lives, and the surrounding areas, including every Antique Market we could find and visit. What a treat!!! I managed to get some really cool stuff to put under the tree for my children.
The course in Ohio was taught by Claire Benn of the UK and it was on Paper Lamination as Tool and as Art. I came home with a bundle of stencils we made in class, and a couple of works in progress. And a brain full of ideas and inspiration!
A couple of weeks after returning from Ohio I flew to Vancouver and via ferry travelled to Gibson's Landing at the invitation of the Sunshine Coast Quilt Guild. We spent almost 4 lovely days at a Retreat. The place was fabulous, and despite the rain, we managed to have a great time. The ladies in the class made amazing work. I was deligthed to be there, and hope to make it there again, maybe as a student or to do my own thing this time.
On Monday, I flew from Vancouver directly to Houston (via Calgary) and 6 days of teaching classes. What a treat once again to meet students from all over the world coming together and sharing one goal: to improve their quilting and artistic abilities. It was a busy time, so much so that I only spent very little time looking at quilts; but I managed to look at the categories that most interest me. I have now to go back to the photos I took, very much rushed, and absorb ...
I will post photos in a separate email - for now I wanted to let you know that I am still around. Haven't really disappeared.
Right now I'm busy at work and at home getting ready for the holidays. Sabrina is back home this time to stay and find a job together with her friend Ariane. It's been a big change to have people in the house again. I had forgotten how much fun it is. We sit at night around the fireplace and we do stuff: Ariane knits, Sabrina embroiders, and I do whatever or read my iPad.
Well, friends, that's all for now. I promise to post some photos over the weekend. I'm teaching a class on Sunday so need to go and get ready for it.
In the meantime, stay happy and keep quilting.
August 25, 2014
I had fun on Saturday, early evening, playing with monoprinting. I set everything up on the kitchen table - there's a lot of stuff to have around. I had cut some PFD - prepared for dyeing - fabric, and some thin canvas and Gelli Plate in hand, started to play.
For the first set of monoprints, I decided to keep them monochromatic and in the black and white range. As I have been using a lot of hand-dyed fabric in different tones of greys, I thought it would be easier to incorporate into some of hand-dyed fabrics plus some of the rubbings I have ready to go.
I have to tell you that I went to the art store in the morning and purchased the yummiest of acrylic metallic paints by Pebeo. They come in the loveliest colors. I resisted buying all of them, but I got a silvery blue, a copper, an orange and a lime green, of course!
Here are some of the results.
This is one of the first samples I made. I used a "comb" on top, a kebab stick for the grasslike markings and two of the rubbing plates I have with circles. Not back for a first try ...
This one uses a lovely 12" x 12" stencil with the large random letters. I love it! I placed it on the paint and then used a piece of textured drawer liner on top; the circles were once more the stamp made with wooden circles for rubbing and a foam stamp.
The Gelli Plate I have is 81/2" x 11" so I'm restricted by that size. I will try something different this coming weekend and see if I can get a larger area to use, before the paint dries.
Another one, this one using similar elements, plus a plate made using metal washers. I really like the effect. As I did not clean the plate between applications of paint, some of the old paint remains and that's when I got the greys, instead of a lot of white.
In this one, I was using Acrylic metallic Pebeo paint in copper and orange - did not make too much of a difference. Plus once again a lovely 12" x 12" template with a leaf motif. On top of that, I applied the texture and some polka dots.
I got a lot of samples done in very little time. I will play some more with different colors of paint next and the plates I made with the stencils which I forgot to take out of the box ... out of sight, out of mind... I had so many other things to play with, I never missed them.
Ah, I had some threads here and there which added a lot of texture and unexpected interest. I will have to remember to do that on purpose.
I will show you some more samples soon. In the meantime, keep quilting.
I have been "gone" for a while ... but not idle!
August 22, 2014
I hate it when that happens. I had just finished uploading the last photo to this blog when … pouf! It all disappeared … had to start all over again. So … I decided to do this in a Word document and then copy and paste to the blog page.
As I was saying before I got interrupted by a glitch in the system, I cannot believe all that time has gone by since I blogged last. I am so embarrassed. Not that I have been idle.
Summer came finally and with it nice and sunny weather. It was even really hot a couple of days during July and August, to the point that I had to turn on the AC, which I usually don’t need.
A couple of weekends ago I was sitting at home reading a book and decided I needed to go do something productive, so I gathered my supplies and started to make textured plates to use for frottage and monoprinting. What was going to be a few plates, turned into quite a few. It is so much fun and addictive too.
Here are a few photos for you to see what I’ve done. These first ones were done on foam core board that I purchased at the dollar store. They were cut to size using an exacto knife and a ruler on a cutting mat. Then I used stencils and modeling paste. Tape the stencil to the table (not to the foam core board) and cover any areas you don’t want to use. With a craft knife, apply modelling paste evenly. Lift the stencil carefully and with the knife – on a paper towel – clean the excess paste and return to the jar to be reused. Wash the stencil right away with warm water. Blot dry with paper towels.
These ones were done using a mini glue gun. I found it easier to use the mini glue gun than the regular one. It gave me a thinner line and it was easier to control. The ones with darker lines are the ones that I marked first, thinking that it was going to be easier to follow the design. Not sure that was true. Again, the foam core board was cut to size. In this case, most of them were cut to about 3” x 4” or a bit larger, as I wanted to use them with the magic foam blocks.
And here are the magic foam blocks, 4 of them, stamped on both sides. If you’ve never used them, they are simple to use and again, you can create anything you can think of. They come in 3” x 4” x 1”, 4 to a package – I purchased mine from Amazon. They are very easy to use. You just need to heat them with a heat gun and press to any surface that has a texture. To create a texture, I created the glue gun plates that I showed you above. But it is easy to use with anything that has a texture, such as leaves, doilies, lace, thread and yarn, buttons, elastic bands, twigs, etc., etc. etc. you get the idea. Press a few seconds until the objects get imprinted and lift. Voila! Stamp ready to use … If you are not happy with it, heat again; the image will disappear and you can start again.
The one with the keys was done placing keys on the table directly, keeping in mind the space I had. These keys were a gift from my friend Lisa. Once I had a placement I liked, I heated the block and pressed it to the keys. That simple!
You can even stamp the sides! Endless possibilities.
These last ones were done once again on foam core board using self-adhesive shapes and letters purchased at the dollar store. You can also find more variety at stores like Micheals and Walmart. They come in all sizes and shapes.
Now I get to use them. I will be spending some time this weekend – it’s supposed to be cooler and rainy – monoprinting. I will show you some results of this exercise soon.
Hope your summer has been good. In the meantime, keep creating!
Quilting Arts Magazine June/July 2014
May 26, 2014
It's almost here ... The new Quilting Arts Magazine for June/July 2014 will be in stores tomorrow, Tuesday May 27th. I have not received my copy yet, so I have not seen the article I contributed for it, but I heard on Saturday that it looks great! :)
The article covers my techniques for making the fabric stones, pebbles and rocks that I've been using in my work lately. They are fun to make, and I find them addictive. You'll never look at a rock in the same manner.
I hope you enjoy the article and make one or two rocks, or a hundred! Let me know how it goes.
In the meantime, I hope this finds you enjoying the nice weather and day dreaming in the sun. Keep quilting!